According to the Miami Herald, America’s top diplomat, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, travels the Middle East striving to stave off a regional war, he’s joined in the region by one of the military’s top deterrents, a nuclear submarine.
An Ohio-class submarine — among the most formidable warships ever constructed — now patrols the waters around the Middle East, the U.S. military announced on Nov. 5.
Its arrival in the region comes as two aircraft carrier groups were deployed to the eastern Mediterranean following the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas, the Islamic militant group that governs the Gaza Strip, in early October.
The vessel’s entry into the region also follows a series of attacks on U.S. military bases in Iraq and Syria, according to the Defense Department.
‘Most powerful ships ever put to sea’
Ohio-class submarines are “without question the most powerful ships ever put to sea,” according to its manufacturer, General Dynamics Electric Boat.
The 560-foot-long vessels — 18 of which are operated by the Navy — prowl the sea carrying payloads of long-range missiles and anti-submarine torpedoes. They’re propelled by nuclear reactors, crewed by about 150 sailors and can reach depths of over 800 feet.
The submarines are specifically designed to undertake long-term patrols to deter military action of adversaries, according to the Navy. On average, they’re on patrol for about three months before they’re taken in for a month of maintenance.
The stealth vessels, known as “boomers,” can transport two dozen Trident ballistic missiles, which are capable of carrying nuclear weapons over 4,000 nautical miles, according to its manufacturer.
The submarines are a core component of America’s nuclear triad, a three-pronged military mechanism for deploying nuclear weapons from land, air and sea, according to the Defense Department.